Financial Aid Information
Basic Financial Aid Terms
Generally, merit-based aid is awarded to students on the basis of their academic and/or extracurricular credentials; this money does not have to be repaid. Some institutional aid (money offered as a "discount" on tuition and fees and/or room and board) combines merit and need in consideration of what to award.
A form of financial aid, based on need, which you do not have to repay.
Sources for grants:
Federal Pell Grant: based exclusively on need, awarded to families with high financial need (generally at or below poverty level) with awards varying from student to student, may have to be repaid if the student withdraws before the end of the semester
Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (SEOG): Need-based aid with limited funding provided to each institution (awards are set by college/university), may have to be repaid if the student withdraws before the end of the semester
Institutional: need-based, with institution determining amounts and limited funds available; may have to be repaid if the student withdraws before the end of the semester
Money that MUST be repaid. Visit the FAFSA website for a comparison between federal and private student loans.
Types of federal loans:
Subsidized: need-based government pays the interest during in-school and grade, or "deferment," period
Unsubsidized: not need-based and the student responsible for the interest while enrolled in school and during the grace period
Other types of loans:
Parent loans (PLUS): not need-based but approval is credit-based, the interest rate is capped
Alternative loans: Buyer beware! Loans are intended to "fill the gap." Fees and interest rates vary and interest accrues while in school.